The Dallas Stars dropped to 0-2-0 on their current homestand, falling 4-3 to the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night at American Airlines Center. The Canucks broke a 2-2 tie with two goals early in the third period. Jamie Benn, Michael Ryder and Brenden Morrow scored for the Stars. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 18 of 22 shots for the Stars. Vancouver snapped a three-game winless streak with the victory.
Sitting at .500
Thursday’s loss was the third in the last four games for the Stars, who fell to .500 on the season (8-8-1). It’s the first time the Stars haven’t been above the .500 mark since February 6. The Stars are .500 both at home and on the road. They are 3-3-1 at American Airlines Center and 5-5-0 on the road.
Cristopher Nilstorp got the start in goal Thursday night, and allowed four goals on 22 shots. It was his first NHL start since January 26, when he stopped 25 of 29 shots in a 4-3 loss to St. Louis. Nilstorp got beat on a deflection, a point shot, a two-on-one and a one-handed backhanded shot that slipped between his legs.
The Stars scored 35 seconds into the game to take an early 1-0 lead. Jamie Benn got the puck near the blue line, weaved his way towards the Vancouver net, had a shot blocked, got the puck back and beat Canucks goalie Cory Schneider from a sharp angle.
The Canucks tied the game by cashing in on their first power play opportunity of the game. Alex Burrows tipped in a Alex Edler shot from the left point at the 8:29 mark.
The Stars had two power play chances in the period, but couldn’t take advantage.
Stars goalie Cristopher Nilstorp came up with a couple of nice stops early in the second, deny Jordan Schroeder and David Booth.
Just eight seconds after eight seconds after Nilstorp’s stop on Booth, Stars forward Michael Ryder put the Stars up 2-1, beating Schneider with a slick backhand shot from the left faeceoff circle at 2:39 of the second.
The Canucks drew even with the two teams playing four-on-four. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa blew by the Stars defense and then slipped the puck between Nilstorp’s legs with a one-handed backhand shot at the 7:05 mark.
Stars forward Antoine Roussel and Canucks forward Zack Kassian dropped the gloves and waged a pretty spirited fight midway through the period.
The Stars had a great chance with just over seven minutes left in the period, but Schneider made a pad save on a close range shot from Jamie Benn.
The Canucks took a 3-2 lead at the 2:32 mark of the third. After having a shot blocked by Roussel, Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison got the puck back and scored off a blast from the left point.
The Canucks extended the lead to 4-2 less than two minutes later when Henrik Sedin finished off a two-on-one rush at the 4:18 mark of the third.
The Stars cut the lead to 4-3 at the 6:07 mark when Stars captain Brenden Morrow stole the puck from Ryan Kesler near the C anucks net and slipped the puck past Schneider.
The Stars had a late power play chance, but couldn’t cash in.
Injured: Lehtonen (groin), Daley (neck), Whitney (foot)
Scratched: Fraser, Wandell (conditioning assignment)